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Trump Up, Clinton Down In New Florida Poll

Trump, Clinton headshots
Gage Skidmore / State Department

The Donald has overtaken Jeb and Marco in Florida.

But a new Quinnipiac University poll might show more-daunting trends for another candidate on a first-name basis with voters — Hillary.

The poll, released Thursday, indicates that New York developer and television personality Donald Trump has taken a slight lead over former Gov. Jeb Bush and a larger lead over U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio in the Republican presidential primary in Florida.

The poll also shows that Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton trails by double digits in general-election match-ups with Bush and Rubio in Florida, a pivotal state in the 2016 presidential race. Quinnipiac also conducted polls in Ohio and Pennsylvania, with voters in all three battleground states giving Clinton bad marks on issues such as honesty and temperament, said Peter Brown, assistant director of the poll.

"Hillary Clinton's poll numbers are like a leaky faucet: drip, drip, drip,'' Brown said in comments released with the poll results. "She is now getting less than half the vote in all three states' Democratic primaries."

The poll, conducted from Aug. 7 to Tuesday, showed Trump with support from 21 percent of registered Florida Republicans, while Bush was at 17 percent and Rubio and physician Ben Carson were at 11 percent. The difference between Trump and Bush was within a 4.5 percentage-point margin of error for the Republican portion of the poll.

But the results are substantially different from a June poll that showed Bush, who was twice elected Florida governor, with the support of 20 percent of the state's GOP voters and Rubio at 18 percent. Trump received only 3 percent in the June poll.

On the Democratic side, Clinton continues to hold a dominant lead over other Democrats in the Florida primary. She captured support from 48 percent of registered Democrats, while Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders received 15 percent and Vice President Joe Biden — who is mulling a possible run — received 11 percent, according to the poll.

Clinton, however, has lost substantial ground among general-election voters in Florida. She trails Bush by a margin of 49 percent to 38 percent and Rubio by a margin of 51 percent to 39 percent. Also, she trails Trump by a margin of 43 percent to 41 percent, though that is within the overall poll's 3 percentage-point margin of error.

By comparison, Clinton had a four-point lead over Bush and a three-point edge over Rubio in the June poll.

The Connecticut-based Quinnipiac frequently conducts polls in Florida and other states. The latest Florida poll surveyed surveying 1,093 voters, including 477 Republicans and 345 Democrats.

Jim Saunders is the Executive Editor of The News Service Of Florida.